The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention temporarily suspended dog importation from countries with high risk of canine rabies in July 2021 and updated its rules in December 2021. The CDC action protects public health and ensures against reintroducing dog rabies in the United States.
Dogs with U.S.-issued Rabies Certificates
"The December update allows dogs to re-enter the United States from a high risk country without an import permit if the dog has been vaccinated by a U.S.-licensed veterinarian and has met five criteria," according to Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian founder of Air Animal Pet Movers. The dog
All dogs entering the
United States from a high-risk county must enter through one of 18 approved ports of entry,
which includes all airports with a CDC quarantine station:
- has a valid U.S.-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
- has proof of a microchip;
- is at least 6 months old;
- is healthy upon arrival; and
- arrives at an approved port of entry
Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW),
Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami
(MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia
(PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington
Dogs with Foreign-issued Rabies Certificates
Dogs with foreign-issued rabies vaccination certificates must still apply for an import permit. Import permits from high-risk countries will be extremely limited and granted case-by-case. Travel is not a valid reason. Criteria:
- A U.S. government employee with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders.
- A U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. resident relocating to the United States for employment or education.
- An owner of a service dog trained to assist a person with a disability.
- Emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not service animals.
- Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, or exhibition, or for bona fide law enforcement
"Pet parents are personally responsible for requesting a pet import permit. This also applies to pet parents who have visited high risk countries with their dogs in the past six months,“ Woolf said.
“Before applying for a permit, eligible pet parents should make sure they gather documents required. Make sure you submit all documents. Then follow these steps in order,” he advised.
- At least four months before planning to return to the U.S., check IPATA.org and find a local professional pet shipper to advise you. Watch the Air Animal website for updates.
- Assure your dog is microchipped. If the rabies vaccinations and the accompanying certificates expire in less than six months, assure the dog receives a rabies booster before expiration.
- Have a rabies antibody test (FAVN-OIE) run by an accredited lab.
- Wait at least 45 days before applying for the U.S. pet import permit.
- Plan another 45 day wait to hear if the permit has been approved. If the permit is approved schedule pet transport. All dogs must arrive at the live animal care facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Permits will not be given at arrival. Dogs without a permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the owner’s expense.
There is no appeal for denied applications. Application does not guarantee approval.
Click these links for further requirements and more information
The CDC will periodically review the suspension.